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Unnecessary C-sections carry extra risks

According to a recent report by Consumer Reports, cesarean section deliveries are too common in many hospitals across the country. This has caused concern among patient advocates, who say that doctors may be performing more C-sections not out of necessity, but because of other factors.

C-sections, of course, carry risks that normal, vaginal deliveries do not, including increased risk of infection, increased bleeding, blood clotting and unexpected anesthesia reactions. Birth injuries are another concern in surgical deliveries, with laceration and damage to organs sometimes occurring. Generally, these risks are worth taking when the risks of a normal delivery are high enough. When the mother is healthy and low risk, though, a C-section may not only be unnecessary, but more dangerous.

Three are a variety of reasons why a physician would choose to perform a C-section. In some cases, surgical deliver is performed when labor goes on too long or becomes complicated, or if the baby is expected to be large. In some cases, consumer advocates say, doctors may be performing surgical procedures less for legitimate medical reasons and more out of habit or because that is what they were trained to do. Currently, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that C-sections should not be performed unless there is an “absolute medical necessity.” This, of course, is just a recommendation, and one that is subject to interpretation.

When a woman or her baby is injured because of a needless C-section, it is important for her to understand her rights in terms of compensation. While an injured patient should not rush into medical malpractice litigation, there are times when it becomes the most sensible means of obtaining relief from a negligent physician. Working with an experienced attorney throughout the process is important. 

Source: CNN, “Why so many C-sections have medical groups concerned,” Jen Christensen, May 8, 2014. 

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